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Padres Spring Training 2009

Discussion in 'All Other Sports' started by rexy2006, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Padres take a turn on "30 in 30"

    If you have been watching MLB Network this weekend, you might have caught its coverage of the Padres on the "30 in 30" spring training series.

    The MLB Network has interviews and news from each team's camp. Its look at the Padres is scheduled for the following repeat airings:

    Monday, March 16: 4 a.m. PDT
    Monday, March 16: 6 a.m. PDT
    Monday, March 16: 8 a.m. PDT

    Wednesday, March 18: 1:30 a.m. PDT
    Wednesday, April 1: 9 a.m. PDT

    Sunday, April 5: 4 a.m. PDT
    Sunday, April 5: 7 a.m. PDT
    The schedule is tentative, of course. TV is TV. But it's good DVR info.

    Friar John

    • Posted on March 15, 2009 at 9:40 PM
     
  2. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    The Padres are OFF today.

    Hot links for Monday, March 16

    Japan fit PETCO Park perfectly in a 6-0 victory over Cuba in the second round of the World Baseball Classic. ... More coverage comes from mlb.com, the North County Times, Baseball America, the L.A. Times and the Associated Press. ...

    Yahoo's Tim Brown offers his opinion. ...

    South Korea beat Mexico 8-2 in the late game at PETCO Park. ... More coverage comes from mlb.com and the Associated Press. ...

    International powerhouse Cuba is on the verge of elimination. ...

    The Padres have close baseball connections to Mexico. ... Fernando Valenzuela is part of a start-studded Mexico coaching staff. ...

    What the WBC participants actually said often is open to interpretation. ...

    The United States stayed alive with a 9-3 victory over the Netherlands at Miami. ... There's more coverage from the Associated Press, USA Today, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Newsday, the New York Daily News and the New York Times. ...

    Yahoo's Jeff Passan says a rash of U.S. injuries could derail the team. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and Tom Verducci of SI.com have similar thoughts. ...

    The WBC is just an exhibition? Sure didn't seem that way when things got testy in the U.S.-Netherlands game. ... The Dutch are gone, but not forgotten...

    The Padres signed RHP Duaner Sanchez to compete for a bullpen job. ... Padres executive Paul DePodesta checks in about the move. ...

    Despite his sharp spring debut, RHP Walter Silva still has pain in his ankle. ...

    New Padres OF Chris Snelling had three RBI, but the Padres 10-7 to the Rangers in a spring training game at Surprise Stadium. ...

    SS Everth Cabrera gets plenty of mention in USA Today's story about the Rule 5 draft, as does one that got away, RHP Joakim Soria.

    2B Matt Antonelli has dropped some weight. ...

    The Padres aren't interested in LHP Joe Beimel, contrary to some reports. ...

    MadFriars has listed its top 20 Padres prospects:


    By Position:

    First Base: Kyle Blanks (3) Second Base: Matt Antonelli (8) Third Base: James Darnell (10) Catcher: None

    Shortstop: Drew Cumberland (9)

    Center Field: Cedric Hunter (1), Will Venable (12), Blake Tekotte (16)

    Right Field: Jaff Decker (2), Kellen Kulbacki (5) Left Field: Chad Huffman (7)

    Starter/RHP: Mat Latos (4), Wynn Pelzer (6), Jeremy McBryde (11), Simon Castro (14), Drew Miller (17), Josh Geer (20)

    Starter/LHP: Wade LeBlanc (13), Steve Garrison (18)

    Relief/Starter: Ivan Nova (15), Will Inman (19)


    A Pad Squad member will compete for the Miss USA crown, representing California..

    Friar John

    • Posted on March 16, 2009 at 6:35 AM
     
  3. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Roster moves aplenty today ...

    We're getting to the point of Spring Training where the Padres are moving guys to their Minor League game about once a week. Early on, there's no real surprises on the list, such as Mat Latos. We knew he was headed out at some point.

    On Tuesday, the Padres moved five players to their Minor League camp and one is left-hander Wade LeBlanc, who figured to be in the mix for the fifth starter spot coming into Spring Training. It won't happen this year, at least not to start the season.

    LeBlanc allowed seven earned runs in six innings over three appearances and walked five in six innings. This followed the 8.02 ERA he had in five games with the Padres last September.

    "He's become aware that there's some things in his game he has to clean-up a little bit. But I do see a future for his guy in the Major Leagues," Padres manager Bud Black said.

    Another development, reliever Chris Britton, brought in on a Minor League contract, has been told he won't make the team when the Padres break camp on April 2. Britton had a 4.50 ERA in five games but the Padres are looking for a strikeout guy for their eighth-inning specialist role and Britton -- who had four walks in four innings -- just isn't that guy.

    The Padres are talking to his agent to find out the next move, if he'll be allowed to explore other options with other teams or if he'll stick around and accept that he'll begin the season with Triple-A Portland. We should know more in a few days.

    The other pitchers who were moved to the Minor League camp today were Jackson Quezada, Mike Ekstrom, Cesar Carrillo and Matt Buschmann.

    Cheers, Corey

    • Posted on March 17, 2009 at 9:58 AM
     
  4. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Hot links for Tuesday, March 17

    Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone. Friar John will be happy on March 18th, too, for he will still be Irish. ...

    Cuba eliminated Mexico from the World Baseball Classic on Monday at PETCO Park. ... There's more coverage from mlb.com, the L.A. Times, the North County Times, the Associated Press and Baseball America. ...

    Cuba was short two pitchers because of pitch-count rules. ... Tim Brown of Yahoo! explores the Cuban team's psyche. ...

    Mexico's players can be proud of their performance. ...

    The winner of tonight's Japan-Korea game at PETCO Park secures a spot in the championship round. ...

    Padres 1B Adrian Gonzalez gets feature treatment from ESPN Magazine. ...

    Japanese pitching sensation Yu Darvish is bringing attention to the WBC. The L.A. Times took notice of him. ...

    The United States is looking to overcome injuries and win a second straight elimination game. ...

    MLB.com's Corey Brock has some news in his blog today, including a list of pitchers who won't break camp with the Padres. ...

    Cool story about an umpires camp for Marines, sponsored by the Padres. MLB.com was there, too. ...

    RHP Duaner Sanchez is excited to join the Padres. ...

    OF Chris Snelling brings tremendous ability to the Padres, as well as a long list of injuries. ...

    The thing about yoga is it's never over 'til it's over. ...

    Former Padres RHP Matt Clement is optimistic about his comeback. ...

    Here's a piece on former Padres RHP Bryce Florie. ...

    Former Padres 2B Josh Barfield has settled into a utility role with the Indians. ...

    Former Padres minor league RHP/SS Matt Bush has not tied up some legal loose ends.
    Friar John

    • Posted on March 17, 2009 at 11:15 AM
     
  5. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    I was really afraid this would happen!!! :tdown:



    03/18/09 7:59 PM ET
    Elbow to sideline Worrell indefinitely

    Reliever complains of soreness Tuesday, to undergo further tests

    By Corey Brock / MLB.com


    PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres' bullpen took another hit Wednesday, and that was before their game against the Rangers.


    Manager Bud Black said that right-handed reliever Mark Worrell, expected to make the team as a late-inning specialist, will be sidelined indefinitely with soreness in his elbow.
    [​IMG]
    "He came out of the game yesterday [Tuesday] with soreness," Black said. "We're going to let it quiet down. We might possibly do some further tests."

    Worrell returned to San Diego to be examined by team doctors and Black later said, "It doesn't look great."

    The reliever struck out one batter in working a scoreless ninth inning in Tuesday's loss to the Angels in Peoria. He complained of soreness afterwards, the second time he's done so in recent weeks.

    "He felt a little soreness in his last start, we held him back, he got treatment and then yesterday, it intensified," Black said.

    Worrell, obtained in the offseason from the Cardinals for Khalil Greene, had a 4.15 ERA in four games. He struck out five and walked two in 4 1/3 innings.

    Worrell, a sidearm pitcher, came to camp with the kind of profile the Padres were looking for in a late-inning specialist. He has a career 2.93 ERA in the Minor Leagues with 329 strikeouts in 280 innings.

    Also, starting pitcher Chris Young was scratched from his scheduled start on Wednesday with tendinitis in his right elbow. Young goes through similar soreness each spring and it usually rectifies itself by the time the team breaks camp. Black said Young will likely make his next start on March 23 against Kansas City in a game that will be played in Peoria.

    Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
     
  6. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    So far, our hitting has been better than our pitching. That's a switch!

    03/18/09 6:48 PM ET
    Blanks, Venable produce again in loss

    Prospect duo continue strong spring showings; Ramos struggles

    By Corey Brock / MLB.com


    RANGERS 9, PADRES 4
    at Peoria, Ariz.
    Wednesday, March 18


    Padres at the plate: The Padres didn't get their first hit until the fifth inning, when with one out, Kyle Blanks doubled down the left-field line. Blanks would later score in the inning when Will Venable, who like Blanks is having a good spring, singled up the middle. Speedy Everth Cabrera lined an opposite-field double just inside the third-base bag in the sixth inning. Third baseman Chris Burke had a hit and a walk. Drew Macias hit a two-run homer in the ninth.
    [​IMG]
    Rangers at the plate: Leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler had hits in each of his first three plate appearances, including a double. Not to be outdone, Josh Hamilton did the same, including dropping down a bunt for a single. Hamilton drove in a run, giving him 15 this spring. Nelson Cruz hit his third home run of the spring, a three-run shot in the first inning.

    Padres on the mound: Starting pitcher Cesar Ramos, who along with Josh Geer and Walter Silva are leading candidates for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, allowed four consecutive hits to open the game, one a three-run homer to Nelson Cruz. All told, Ramos allowed five runs on seven hits with two walks in three innings. Jae Kuk Ryu fared a little better, allowing one run over two innings. Edwin Moreno tossed another scoreless inning. His ERA this spring is 1.13 ERA.

    Rangers on the mound: Starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy continues to impress this spring. On Wednesday, McCarthy held the Padres hitless over his four innings, walking two with three strikeouts.

    McCarthy lowered his ERA to 1.80 this spring and opponents are hitting just 0.90 against him. Brendan Donnelly followed by allowing a run on two hits. Reliever Willie Eyre looked sharp in his one innning, striking out two.

    Cactus League records: Rangers 11-9; Padres 4-11-3. :tdown:

    Up next: Cha Seung Baek, who has done nothing to hurt his standing as the No. 3 pitcher in the Padres rotation this spring, gets the start on Thursday night against the Mariners in Peoria, Ariz. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PT. Baek is scheduled to go five innings. He will be followed Edwin Moreno and Cla Meredith.

    The Padres at Mariners game is currently in progress...It's 7-6 Padres, top 5th.
     
  7. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Pitching woes continue:

    03/20/09 1:03 AM ET
    Hits aplenty in Friars' loss to Mariners

    Floyd's perfect night leads offensive charge; Baek struggles on hill

    By Jim Street / MLB.com

    Mariners (ss) 10, Padres 8
    at Peoria, Ariz.
    Thursday, March 19



    Padres at the plate: Catcher Eliezer Alfonzo capped a five-run first inning with a two-run single to left field. Center fielder Jody Gerut and right fielder Brian Giles contributed doubles to the outburst. Designated hitter Cliff Floyd went 3-for-3 and scored two runs.
    [​IMG]
    Mariners at the plate: Red-hot outfielder Mike Wilson continued his power display, slugging a two-run home run in the second inning, his fourth home run of the spring and third in two games. Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt went 2-for-4 and raised his Cactus League batting average to .435. First baseman Russell Branyan went 3-for-4 and stole second and third base:icon_huh: in the decisive four-run fifth inning.

    Padres on the mound: Former Mariners pitcher Cha Seung Baek squandered a five-run lead and departed after 4 1/3 innings. He surrendered eight hits and six runs and also struck out six batters.

    Mariners on the mound: Left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith settled down after a rocky start. The Padres scored five runs off him in the first inning, but the rotation candidate surrendered just one run over the next three innings.

    Left-handed reliever Cesar Jimenez made his Cactus League debut and pitched one inning.

    Cactus League records: Mariners (9-10-1), Padres (4-11-3).

    Up next: The busy Padres continue their nine-games-in-nine-days stretch on Friday when they travel across the Valley of the Sun to Mesa, Ariz., for a 1:05 p.m. PT game against the Cubs. Right-hander Kevin Correia gets the start, opposing Cubs right-hander Rich Harden. This will be the second meeting of the spring against the NL Central Division winners. The Padres won the first game, 4-2, at Peoria Stadium on March 1.
    Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
     
  8. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    As Soria continues to soar for Royals, Padres lament letting him get away

    By Tom Krasovic

    Thursday, March 19, 2009

    PEORIA, Ariz. – As the Padres audition pitcher after pitcher, a former Padres minor leaguer some 15 miles away prepares to follow his All-Star season of 2008 with the Kansas City Royals.

    “The Padres gave me a chance,” closer Joakim Soria said before a recent game at Surprise Stadium. “It just didn't work out there.”

    Had the Padres put Soria on their 40-man roster in November 2006, when he was a 22-year-old Single-A pitcher, instead of exposing him to the Rule 5 draft, their ranks now would include a low-salary, first-rate closer who, according to the Royals, also projects well as a No. 3 starter.

    Even more regrettable for the Padres is that when they opted not to protect Soria, they had eight open spots on their 40-man roster.

    “I was young,” said Soria, who had a 1.60 ERA and 42 saves last year. “That's baseball. That's life. They're human beings, too. They make mistakes.”

    Shortly before the Rule 5 draft three months ago, Padres CEO Sandy Alderson and several other Padres officials revisited the Soria decision.

    Alderson, now apparently in his final days on the job because the club is in the midst of a potential sale, rated it the front office's biggest mistake of his tenure – bigger, he said, even than the decision last year to replace Mike Cameron in center field with Jim Edmonds.

    “Soria's right there at the top for me,” Alderson said in December. “That was something that could have been avoided.”

    A stickler for process, Alderson – whose four-year tenure began with three winning seasons – said the fallout from the Soria decision even caused him to adjust the front office's decision-making process, declining to say how. Separately, he said that “since the Soria draft, we tend to lean toward overprotecting players rather than underprotecting them, particularly in the case of our young Latin players.”

    Entering the 2006 Rule 5 draft, the Padres, in fact, added two Mexican minor leaguers to their 40-man roster. Neither, though, was Soria – they were Leo Rosales, who would bring Scott Hairston via a fruitful trade by General Manager Kevin Towers, and Luis Cruz, who would fizzle.

    Already on the 40-man roster in 2006 were fringe minor leaguers such as outfielder Jon Knott. The Padres cut Knott five days after the Rule 5 draft.

    The Padres signed Soria in December 2005. The previous two years, he did not pitch as a Dodgers minor leaguer because of an arm injury.

    Per the Padres' pact with the Mexico City Red Devils, Soria pitched in Mexico in summer 2006. He posted 15 saves and a 3.89 ERA over 39 games. The same season, he pitched in seven games with the Padres' Single-A club in Fort Wayne, going 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA.

    Soria continued to pitch well in the Mexican winter league after the Padres opted against protecting him. Before the Padres exposed him, however, several Padres contacts had positively reviewed him.

    “I take full blame for losing Soria because (Padres international director) Randy Smith wanted to protect him,” Towers said in December. “Roberto Masur (the Red Devils owner) wanted to protect him. I should have listened to them and I didn't. My gut was that I didn't think anybody would select him. It was really timing more than anything, and the Royals did a really good job.”

    Grady Fuson, who oversees the farm system and reports to Towers, said: “Soria wasn't a guy we pooh-poohed or didn't talk about. We had a lot of discussions on him. We loved everything about him – the body, arm action, fastball, breaking ball. He would definitely have been in our rotation that year in Fort Wayne, but because of the agreement he had to go back to Mexico City.”

    Royals scout Louie Medina had tracked Soria for some time. Other clubs also were prepared to draft Soria, but the Royals picked him second overall. Two days later, he threw a perfect game in Mexico. Obligated to offer him back to the Padres if they didn't keep him in the majors, the Royals kept him.

    In his two major league seasons, he has a 2.05 ERA and 59 saves.

    “We were playing the odds,” Fuson said. “How many guys who pitched (12) innings in low-A ball go to the big leagues? I look at him as an incredible aberration. What are the odds of a guy from low-A sticking for a full year? Five percent.”

    Said Soria: “It doesn't make much sense to protect a guy in low-A, but I was pitching good in Mexico, and that's where the Royals saw me. It was a good thing for me.”

    Switching sides?

    Adrian Gonzalez has a novel idea.

    Having already played in the World Baseball Classic for Mexico, Gonzalez said he's ready to answer a call from the United States, which is looking for a replacement for injured first baseman Kevin Youkilis.

    “Why not?” wondered Gonzalez, who was raised on both sides of the San Diego-Tijuana border. “I qualify for both countries.”

    Gonzalez returned to the lineup last night along with brother Edgar and Scott Hairston, who all rejoined the Padres after Mexico's elimination Monday night. The Padres lost to the Mariners 10-8, dropping to 0-9-2 against American League teams this spring.

    Baek struggles

    Cha Seung Baek, who is the No. 3 or No. 4 starter, continued to struggle last night as he gave up six runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings to raise his ERA to 7.54.

    Staff writer Bill Center contributed to this report.
     
  9. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    Macias now able to focus his hunger on reaching the major leagues

    By Tom Krasovic

    Wednesday, March 18, 2009


    PEORIA, Ariz – The next time Oprah discusses weird eating habits, the Padres' Drew Macias would make for a chatty guest. Macias, a 6-foot-3 center fielder, could tell of the winter four years ago when the Padres insisted he gain weight – fast.

    “Basically I was on a regimen where I had to eat every three hours,” said Macias, who was thought to be too thin by the Padres at the time. “I remember the first couple of weeks, I felt like throwing up every time I'd eat, because I was like, 'I don't want to eat anymore.'

    “I was brought up to believe: Don't eat because you're bored. But I had to just eat. Every time I walked by an ice cream store, I'd eat. Every time I walked by In-N-Out, I'd eat a burger.”

    He thickened up. And slowed down, failing in 12-of-16 stolen-base attempts the next year in Double-A. “My knees started to feel it,” he said.

    In time, nature and nurture got it right.

    “My body's finally starting to fill in,” said Macias, who weighs 205 pounds. “Talking to my dad, he wasn't 24 or 25 until he started filling in. I just turned 26. And I was smarter; I focused on strength and grip strength. I'm now the right size.”

    Manager Bud Black likes how Macias is playing in both center field and right, and the two home runs he's hit this month – the second a 410-foot shot Wednesday off Baseball America's No. 10 prospect overall, the Rangers' Neftali Perez. “Macias is having a good camp,” Black said.

    Said bench coach Ted Simmons: “He's growing into a man.”

    Opening Day likely will have Macias in Triple-A Portland, where he'd like to build on career-highs in on-base percentage (.391), home runs (11) and stolen bases (18 in 24 attempts) in Double-A. Further confidence comes from the homer he hit for the Padres last September against Giants No. 2 starter Matt Cain.

    “You start to realize, man, I can do this, I can play with these guys,” he said.

    Worrell shut down

    Shortly after he traded Khalil Greene to the Cardinals for two minor leaguers in December, General Manager Kevin Towers said he “sold low” on Greene, whose $6.5 million salary influenced the move.

    Wednesday, the Padres shut down a Triple-A reliever they obtained in the trade – Mark Worrell – because of elbow soreness and sent him to San Diego for further examination. “It doesn't look great,” Black said.

    A second minor league pitcher will complete the trade this month, said Towers, who declined the Giants' offer of reliever Jack Taschner for Greene.

    Notable

    – No. 2 starter pitcher Chris Young, shelved Tuesday because of elbow tendinitis, has been rescheduled for Monday, giving him three more starts before his regular-season debut against the Dodgers on April 7.

    – Presumptive No. 4 starter Kevin Correia hasn't pitched since March 11, mostly because suitable minor leaguers weren't available to form a scrimmage on Monday's open date, pitching coach Darren Balsley said. “He has no issues whatsoever,” Balsley said. Correia is to pitch five innings Friday.

    – The Rangers scored five runs off No. 5 candidate Cesar Ramos and won, 9-4, to keep the Padres winless in 10 games (0-8-2) against American League clubs in the Cactus League. Ramos lasted three innings.

    – Balsley wants to see more of No. 5 candidate Walter Silva, who, after being sidelined by a sprained ankle, threw two scoreless innings in his Padres debut and is to return Saturday against the Giants. “He looks real good,” Balsley said.

    – Recovered from a shoulder strain, Cliff Floyd returned to the lineup as a designated hitter.

    – The Padres' 2009 media guide makes no mention of Padres CEO Sandy Alderson, who has said he will step down if owner John Moores sells the club to a group led by Jeff Moorad.
     
  10. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    Young is scratched from Wednesday's start as a precaution for tendinitis

    By Tom Krasovic

    Tuesday, March 17, 2009


    PEORIA, Ariz. – The Padres have scratched pitcher Chris Young from Wednesday's outing as a precautionary response to elbow tendinitis that Young said nags him every spring training.

    “If this were the regular season, I definitely would pitch,” Young said. “I'm not concerned. I go through this every year.”

    Young, the team's No. 2 starting pitcher, said if the decision were his, he would pitch against the Rangers. But he said he respects the judgment of trainer Todd Hutcheson and manager Bud Black.

    The pitcher, who doesn't have a set date for his return, said he is responding well to anti-inflammatory medicine.

    “I go through this every spring,” Young said.

    Leading up to the Cactus League, Young throws only fastballs and change-ups. The annual introduction of sliders and curveballs tends to place extra stress on the elbow, he said, resulting in soreness every March. He said it always has been resolved with rest and anti-inflammatory medicine.

    “I'll be fine,” he said.

    Blanks to get fly balls

    General Manager Kevin Towers said prospect Kyle Blanks, whose path to the majors is blocked by first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, will take fly balls in left field before his games in Triple-A this year.

    Blanks will stay at first base, Towers said, but the club wants to see how he responds to fly balls. The idea is to explore another way to get Blanks'bat into the lineup down the road; Towers said he broached the subject with Grady Fuson, the director of scouting and player development.

    “We're not going to stick him in the outfield,” Towers said. “We may hit him some fly balls in pregame, see how he does.”

    Blanks, a 6-foot-6 285-pounder, said last month he would develop his outfield skills if it would help his career. In 2005, he played left in two short-season games.

    Towers also said Blanks “truly has been the one bright spot of spring training.” Blanks has batted .341 with four doubles, three home runs, six walks and 14 strikeouts in 44 at-bats.

    “This guy's legit,” Towers said.

    More pitching woes

    Josh Geer, a No. 5 candidate whose fastball averaged 83 mph Tuesday, gave up nine hits and six runs in a 12-7 loss to the Angels at Peoria Stadium.

    With left-handed reliever Justin Hampson's ERA at 15.63, left-handed starter Cesar Ramos is emerging as a candidate for the bullpen. That is, if the Padres decide against making Ramos the No. 5 starter. Walter Silva also is in the mix for the No. 5 job, Towers said.

    Among the many starting pitchers the Padres are watching elsewhere is Rays right-hander Jeff Niemann, who is out of minor league options, and Rangers right-hander Jason Jennings, who can become a free agent in early April if Texas doesn't guarantee him a 25-man roster spot.

    Among many relievers the Padres are eyeing are Diamondbacks right-hander Juan Gutierrez and Angels right-hander Jason Bulger. Both are out of minor league options.

    Notable

    – The Padres sent 11 players to minor league camp, including starter Wade LeBlanc, who had a 10.50 ERA; reliever Chris Britton, a Yankees castoff, who, according to Black, was given the option of joining another club; and Single-A closer Jackson Quezada, who, because of a shoulder ailment, didn't face a hitter after reporting to camp.

    – Good news, Padres fans: The team isn't in the American League. The Padres, who usually post a losing record against AL clubs during the season, are 0-7-2 against AL clubs in the Cactus League. In four of those losses, the Padres gave up at least 10 runs, including 15 twice.
     
  11. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    What to do in Peoria?


    By Tom Krasovic

    March 19, 2009, 9:43 a.m.


    At Padres spring training this year, there is almost no buzz. The place is as quiet as it's been since John Moores bought the club in late 1994, when baseball was frozen by a labor dispute. Blame this dud camp on the economy. Or the team's 63-99 record last year. Or the World Baseball Classic, which claimed stars such as Jake Peavy and Adrian Gonzalez from a Padres team that already was short on star power.

    There is more to do at the Peoria Sports Complex, however, than attend the Cactus League games and major league workouts. On the back fields where the minor leaguers work out, there's plenty of room between the four fields, and it's not unusual to see youngsters and adults playing catch as the nearby minor leaguers go through their paces.

    For fans interested in Padres minor leaguers, there's no better place. All of the organization's top prospects are here, including hitters such as Kellen Kulbacki, who will be in Double-A this season; Yefri Carvajal, an outfielder who is looking to have a breakout season at hitter friendly Lake Elsinore; Jaff Decker, who batted .352 as a first-year pro last year; and James Darnell, whose athleticism and power turned heads last summer in the short-season Northwest League (Darnell also rocketed a home run at Petco Park in his first batting practice there after the club signed him).

    It's not difficult to spot these players. Just go to the complex in the mid-morning, then head left to the minor league fields. There's a concession stand, which isn't always open. Sometimes, rosters are available. There are bleachers, some of which are covered.

    Earlier this month, it was interesting to watch the young hitters perform various drills, particularly as part of a hitting camp for 18 hitters who were invited a week before the rest of the minor-league position players arrived.

    Among those hitters was Blake Tekotte, a center fielder drafted out of the University of Miami last June. Tekotte, a third-round pick, is a left-handed hitter who batted .285 with six home runs in 193 at-bats last season with short-season Eugene. Interviewed for a Union-Tribune article on the hitting camp earlier this month, he said that instructor Tony Muser had helped him with a few words about hitting hard groundballs to the left side, preferrably with backspin, rather than topspin, because the ball is more apt to scoot through the infield. The idea is to "get through the ball," Muser said.

    That in mind, it was interesting to see Tekotte enter Wednesday's Cactus League game against the Rangers. The draw was a tough one: Rangers pitching prospect Neftali Feliz, whose "easy gas" fastball put him 10th among all prospects this year ranked by Baseball America.

    When Feliz threw an inside fastball for a quick strike, it looked like Tekotte might be over-matched, but Tekotte worked him for a few more pitches. Then came another fastball, over the plate's inner third. Tekotte reacted with a short swing and punched a firm groundball that skipped into left field for a single. Textbook. A hard grounder through the "5.5" hole -- between shortstop and third base -- it would have made Tony Gwynn smile.

    But not every talented hitter can translate his success in drills into the game. Take Chase Williams, an athletic right-handed hitter with a live bat. In drills and even scrimmages last spring training, Williams did some impressive things. He also radiated talent in a recent workout, outshining highly acclaimed prospects such as Kulbacki and Decker. The task was difficult: Hit line drives up the middle against a coach who was whipping inside and outside fastball, plus outside curveballs, from an artificial mound just 40 feet from home plate.

    "It's like it's 100 miles per hour," Decker said afterward. "Very tough."

    Decker struggled throughout the drill. Kulbacki fared better. The unheralded Williams? He outperformed both of them.

    "Way to go Chase!" Muser yelled several times as Williams rifled pitch after pitch. Judging by the sound the ball made when Williams hit it, you would have thought a major leaguer was swinging the bat.

    Decker was in awe. "I asked Chase how he was able to see the ball so well," he said. "He was unbelievable."

    Williams, though, is a longshot prospect. As a teammate of Decker's last season, he hit only .169 on 130 at-bats. He didn't hit a home run and piled up 30 strikeouts. His struggles are another reminder of just how hard it is to succeed as a professional hitter.
     
  12. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    Rotation, bullpen remain unsettled with opener just over two weeks away

    Bill Center (Contact)

    Friday, March 20, 2009


    PEORIA, Ariz. – With less than 2½ weeks to go until the start of the season, the Padres have yet to complete their rotation and can identify only two members of the bullpen.

    “We're trying to work our way through this,” Padres manager Bud Black said Friday.

    The bullpen situation worsened again Friday when it was learned that right-hander Mark Worrell, who was obtained from St. Louis this winter in exchange for shortstop Khalil Greene, will have elbow reconstruction surgery next week in San Diego, ending his 2009 season.

    Worrell, however, was not a lock to make the Padres bullpen.

    Outside of closer Heath Bell and setup man Cla Meredith, no one is.

    Black did identify three relievers who have pitched well this spring – right-handers Jae Kuk Ryu and Edwin Moreno and left-hander Arturo Lopez. Moreno and Lopez came to camp as non-roster players.

    Duaner Sanchez, who was signed as a free agent this week, is scheduled to make his Padres debut Saturday.

    And left-hander Justin Hampson couldn't have found a better time to work a scoreless 1 1/3 innings than Friday afternoon in a 5-3 loss to the Cubs in Mesa.

    While Bell has been away at the World Baseball Classic, Meredith hasn't allowed a hit or a run in five one-inning outings this spring.

    Signed as a minor league free agent last summer, the 28-year-old Moreno worked a scoreless inning Friday to lower his spring ERA to 1.00. He has allowed one run on four hits over eight appearances.

    “Ryu has thrown well,” said Black of the 25-year-old Korean claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay in January. Ryu has allowed three earned runs in six appearances covering eight innings.

    Lopez, 26, who has moved back and forth between the Padres system and the Mexican League, has a 2.57 ERA in six appearances. “He's been in and out,” said Black, which is praise given some of the performances of Padres relievers this spring.

    Hampson entered Friday's game with a 15.63 ERA, having given up 11 earned runs on 16 hits in less than seven innings. He issued one walk and had two strikeouts while facing five hitters.

    “I needed that, it was about time,” said Hampson, who has a 2.74 ERA in 74 appearances over two seasons out of the Padres bullpen. “I was finishing my slider today.

    “I've been laying it out there and you learn pretty quick in a game if it's good enough, and it wasn't good enough.”

    Unforeseen woes

    Going into spring training, Padres General Manager Kevin Towers sounded confident that two spots in the bullpen would go to Worrell and former Yankee Chris Britton.

    Britton has been cut. And Worrell will be cut upon Wednesday when team physicians Jan Fronek and Hans Hoenecke perform “Tommy John” surgery.

    “Our fears were confirmed when the elbow was examined,” Black said.

    Worrell, 26, who has a very unorthodox delivery, had a 4.13 ERA over 4 1/3 innings before being shut down Wednesday. He was 3-3 with a 2.15 ERA in 53 appearances with the Cardinals' Triple-A team in Memphis, Tenn., last season.

    Rotation woes


    A day after Cha Seung Baek couldn't hold a 5-0 lead against Seattle, Kevin Correia allowed four runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Cubs. Like Baek the night before, Correia gave up a long homer.

    Penciled in as the Padres' No. 3 and 4 starters, respectively, Baek and Correia have ERAs of 7.53 and 6.52 this spring.

    Five of the eight hits allowed by Correia and three of the four runs scored were after two were out.

    “I wish I would have pitched a little better,” Correia said. “I could have had a real good outing and it turned out to be a bad outing.”

    Miscellany

    – Kyle Blanks blasted a two-run homer to left-center, his fourth of the spring. He also almost beat out a routine grounder to second.

    – Everth Cabrera got his second extra-base hit in as many games, flying around the bases on a triple.

    – The Padres have lost five straight exhibitions and are 4-13 in Cactus League play – meaning they could be eliminated from title contention Saturday.
     
  13. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    Peavy's next WBC start pushed back to Monday's final -- if U.S. gets that far

    Chris Jenkins

    Friday, March 20, 2009


    [​IMG]

    Jake Peavy, who is carrying a 14.40 ERA over five innings in his two WBC starts, will give way to Roy Oswalt for Sunday's semifinal game. He'll get the call in Monday's final should the U.S. team advance.

    LOS ANGELES – Usually, you can't pry the baseball from Jake Peavy's grip without power tools and a fight, especially at Dodger Stadium.

    But the Padres right-hander said he has no problem with U.S. manager Davey Johnson's decision to start good buddy Roy Oswalt instead of him in Sunday's World Baseball Classic semifinal, a showdown with Daisuke Matsuzaka and a star-studded Japanese team that's the defending champion.

    “I understand it, I really do,” Peavy said. “With me not pitching well and the fact that Japan's seen a lot more of me than Roy, yeah, I see the sense in it.”

    In both WBCs, Peavy has been the de facto ace of the American staff, and it was presumed he would draw the prime assignment again against Japan. After playing along with the tendency of international baseball managers to keep secret their starting pitchers until the last possible moment, Johnson revealed the switch Friday, saying Peavy would get the ball for the WBC title game Monday night if the United States beats Japan.

    In the other semifinal, South Korea plays Venezuela on Saturday night. The final three games are at Dodger Stadium, where Peavy is 6-1 in 11 starts with the Padres.

    Given the way the American team has been decimated by the loss of several players going back to their major league clubs with injuries of various degrees, the initial wonder Friday was whether Peavy might have joined the list, but the pitcher and the U.S. manager denied any health issues with Peavy.

    “Jake's fine,” Johnson said. “We just wanted him to get a little more work on the side before his next start. He only threw 52 pitches (against Puerto Rico in his last outing) and was getting the ball up. He gets pretty amped.”

    Peavy got lit up by the Puerto Ricans, who scored six runs on him in two innings of an 11-1 rout. Combined with his WBC-opening start, a U.S. victory over Canada, Peavy is carrying a 14.40 ERA over five innings. Oswalt has a 1-0 record and 3.52 ERA to show for his two starts and 7 2/3 innings, though he also has been hit hard in the WBC.

    “Roy seemed to be farther along than Jake,” Johnson said. “Either choice was fine with me. I decided to go with Roy and come back with Jake, give him extra time.”

    Peavy said he's still trying to build up his arm strength, customarily the last thing to come to a pitcher in the spring. It's been especially difficult because Peavy has thrown so infrequently and his starts with the U.S. have been so brief.

    “Thirty pitches isn't a lot of work,” Peavy said. “But the last few times out, just playing catch, I feel like my arm has turned the corner. I hope I get to pitch Monday night, and if I do, I expect to do well. If I don't pitch again here, I'll be in Peoria getting in my last couple starts to get ready for the season.”

    Actually, the fact the Padres train at the Peoria Sports Complex and the Cactus League contributes to the familiarity situation that's working against Peavy now. Not only do the Padres play regular-season series with the Seattle Mariners as their so-called “natural” rival in interleague play, but the Padres and Mariners share spring-training digs and play each other frequently throughout February and March.

    Two of the many left-handed hitters in the Japanese batting order, leadoff batter Ichiro Suzuki and slugging catcher Kenji Johjima, play for the Mariners. Others on Team Japan have first-hand experience with Peavy from his starts with a collection of U.S. stars that toured Japan a few years back. Conversely, Oswalt pitched against Korea in the 2000 Olympic Games.

    At least one of the U.S. hitters has logged plenty of plate time with Matsuzaka, who was Most Valuable Player of the inaugural WBC and since has pitched in a World Series for the Boston Red Sox.

    “We face him all the time,” American shortstop Derek Jeter said, “we” meaning the New York Yankees. “Playing Boston 20 games a year, we see him all the time, so I'm familiar with what he throws.”

    Perhaps by coincidence, the player chosen to join the U.S. team in L.A. was Evan Longoria, who also has a bit of experience against Matsuzaka with the Tampa Bay Rays.
     
  14. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    Padres Blog

    Peavy start pushed back

    By Chris Jenkins


    March 20, 2009, 11:44 a.m.

    Padres pitcher Jake Peavy, who was presumed to be the United States' starter Sunday in the World Baseball Classic semifinal game vs. Japan, will now be held back until the Monday championship game, should the U.S. reach the final.

    Starting Sunday for the U.S. vs. Japan at Dodger Stadium will be Roy Oswalt of the Houston Astros.

    If Team USA wins Sunday, Peavy would start Monday night in the WBC championship game vs. Venezuela or South Korea, which meet in the first semifinal Saturday night.

    Peavy has struggled in his first two WBC outings. In his last start, an 11-1 loss to Puerto Rico, Peavy gave up six hits and six earned runs in two innings.
     
  15. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    Silva impresses Black in first start

    By Bill Center

    Originally published 02:00 a.m., March 22, 2009, updated 02:00 a.m., March 22, 2009

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – To Walter Silva, yesterday's outing against the Giants was not a spring training exhibition.

    “My approach today, this is a normal game, not spring training,” Silva said. “I wanted to pitch my best.”

    And he did . . . certainly better than most others vying for a spot in the Padres rotation.

    Silva, whose first spring in a major league camp was interrupted by an ill-timed sprained ankle, allowed one run on two hits over four innings in his first start, against a San Francisco split-squad.

    Silva was scheduled to throw only three innings. But he worked an extra inning because he threw a total of 39 pitches. Ten of his outs came via ground balls and one of the two hits was a single through the infield.

    “I'm a ground-ball pitcher,” said the 32-year-old right-hander. “Today I felt good; I was throwing a lot of strikes and was close to the plate.”

    Silva was pitching yesterday in the space slotted for the No. 5 starter, and while one outing isn't going to earn a berth, Padres manager Bud Black did say Silva has put himself in the picture.

    “It's too early to anoint anything to anybody,” Black said. “But I liked what he did. He has a good delivery and a nice array of pitches.”

    Which is why Adrian and Edgar Gonzalez recommended Silva to the Padres two months ago. The brothers and Silva were teammates for Mazatlan in the Caribbean Series played in Mexicali.

    “Major league teams had looked at Walter before but couldn't work out a deal with his Mexican team (Monterrey),” Adrian Gonzalez said. “I thought he deserved a chance and by asking, I learned Monterrey might be willing to talk. That's when I talked to the Padres about Silva.

    “He makes pitches, and (he) pitches down. And he has great poise. He doesn't panic or rattle.”

    A converted outfielder, Silva has pitched professionally in Mexico since 2002. Last summer, he was 7-8 with a 4.21 ERA in 21 starts for Monterrey. But over the past three seasons, Silva was 24-18 with a 3.89 ERA in 56 starts. And last winter, Silva was 5-4 for Mazatlan with a 3.23 ERA and was 1-1 in two Caribbean starts with a 2.25 ERA.

    Black scouted Silva during the Caribbean Series in Mexicali.

    “I liked his arm action and delivery. It looks like he has the ability to move the ball. I like his slider.”

    Silva had the ball moving yesterday on both sides of the plate while working low in the strike zone.

    Silva sprained his left ankle shortly after working two scoreless innings of relief in his first outing for the Padres. Yesterday was only his second appearance.

    “I thought I was in trouble when I sprained my ankle,” he said. “They didn't see me very much and now I'm behind everyone because of the ankle. And it's my first time here, so I was worried if I'd get a chance to show what I can do.

    “So today was very important.”

    Mixed results

    Recently signed reliever Duaner Sanchez allowed a sun-field double in his first inning of work for the Padres. “It felt great, my pitches are right there,” Sanchez said.

    But Jae Kuk Ryu, who Black praised the previous day, gave up eight runs on eight hits in one-third of an inning as the Padres lost a sixth straight exhibition by a 12-4 score.

    Peavy plan OK

    Black was notified in advance of the plan to start Jake Peavy in tomorrow night's World Baseball Classic championship game (if needed) rather than tonight's semifinal against Japan.

    “It's no big deal,” Black said. “In a perfect world, he would have started Sunday. But moving him back a day is not that big a deal.”

    Had Peavy started today, he would have been in a perfect time rotation to be the Padres' Opening Day starter on April 6 against the Dodgers.
     
  16. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    Padres move to restock pitching, acquire righties Gregerson and Hill

    By Bill Center

    Monday, March 23, 2009

    PEORIA, Ariz. – Give me your tired, your poor, your right-handers ...

    It's as if there were a beacon atop the Padres' spring training complex, summoning pitching candidates.

    Monday the pitching-go-round officially began as the Padres – looking for help in the bullpen and starting rotation – added two arms while sending three to their Triple-A affiliate.

    The Padres acquired right-handed reliever Luke Gregerson, 24, from St. Louis to complete the trade for shortstop Khalil Greene. Gregerson will join the Padres Tuesday and could open the season in the bullpen, although he has never pitched above Double-A.

    And they signed right-handed starter Shawn Hill, who was released by the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, to a minor league contract. Hill, 27, has a 7-15 record in 37 starts with a 4.93 ERA in a career interrupted by a series of arm injuries.

    Hill joins Kevin Correia, Walter Silva and Cesar Ramos in the competition for spots at the back end of the Padres rotation, although Ramos on Monday gave up three runs on eight hits in three innings against the Royals.

    The pitching field also was trimmed when Josh Geer, along with relievers Scott Patterson and Joe Thatcher, were among seven players cut from the major league roster.

    The bullpen was further bolstered when closer Heath Bell reported back to the Padres some 10 hours after the United States was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic.

    Bell, perhaps aware of the situation in the Padres bullpen, hired a car service to take him directly from Dodger Stadium to Peoria. “I'm ready,” he said.

    Gregerson completes the Greene trade. The Padres earlier acquired right-handed reliever Mark Worrell from the Cardinals. Worrell is scheduled to have elbow reconstruction surgery Wednesday in San Diego and will miss the 2009 season.

    The 6-foot-3 Gregerson was a Texas League All-Star last year, going 7-6 with 10 saves and a 3.35 ERA in 57 appearances with the Cards' Double-A affiliate. He had 78 strikeouts in 75 1/3 innings.

    “He has a wipeout slider,” Padres General Manager Kevin Towers said of Gregerson, whose fastball runs in the 88-89 mph range. The Padres were given their choice of several Cardinals pitching prospects.

    Gregerson was a 28th-round pick by the Cardinals in 2006. In 138 minor league appearances (all in relief), he is 16-12 with 48 saves and a 2.72 ERA.

    The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Hill was a sixth-round pick by Montreal in 2000. The Padres had drafted him in the 33rd round the previous June but didn't sign the Canadian.

    Hill made just 12 starts last year (1-5 with a 5.83 ERA) for the Nationals because of forearm soreness. Earlier in his career he had “Tommy John” elbow reconstruction surgery.

    “We're aware of what we're getting into,” Towers said. “His injuries have been a little bit of everything. He says he feels good. Certainly, there is some risk. But he's a non-roster player and nothing is guaranteed.”

    Hill has shown a low-90s fastball with sink.

    “When he's on, he has a hard sinker and a nice slider,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “If he's healthy, it's a nice addition.”

    Young sharp


    Chris Young, who was Hill's roommate in the minor leagues while in the Montreal system, allowed three runs on five hits over 4 1/3 innings Monday.

    Young skipped his previously scheduled outing because of soreness in his elbow.

    “I'm encouraged but not satisfied,” Young said of his outing. “My ball had life. I felt good, but I wasn't as sharp as I wanted to be. But compared to my last two starts, it was a night-and-day improvement.”

    Young threw 81 pitches.

    “I thought he looked good following a nine-day layoff,” Black said. “His slider was better and he threw a good change.”

    Moving out

    In addition to the three pitchers, second baseman Matt Antonelli, outfielder Will Venable and catcher Jose Lobaton also were optioned to Triple-A Portland while outfielder Chad Huffman was reassigned to the minor league camp.

    Going into spring training, Geer, Thatcher and Patterson were candidates to make the Opening Day staff.

    Geer's ERA for five starts ballooned to 10.43 after allowing two three-run homers Sunday. Thatcher had a 4.15 ERA over eight relief appearances and Patterson had a 5.40 ERA over seven appearances.

    Venable hit .295 this spring. Huffman hit .280 while Antonelli and Lobaton both hit .250.

    Padres win

    Chase Headley hit a three-run, walk-off homer as the Padres rallied for five runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Kansas City 9-7 and end a seven-game losing streak.

    The win also was the Padres' first against an American League team this spring.

    Headley had three hits, Kyle Blanks had two hits and two RBI and shortstop Everth Cabrera had two hits to raise his average to .234.
     
  17. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    Floyd adjusts to new role with Padres

    By Bill Center

    Monday, March 23, 2009


    PEORIA, Ariz. – Cliff Floyd has seen the numbers.

    “Awful,” he says, with a smile.

    As a pinch-hitter during an otherwise stellar 16-year career, Floyd has a .171 career average with five homers and 23 RBI in 140 at-bats.

    And his projected role with the Padres – left-handed pinch hitter and designated hitter in American League parks . . . or much the same role filled by Tony Clark last season.

    “I know, I know,” Floyd said. “You look at those numbers and say, 'what? . . . Floyd a pinch hitter.' Those are some of the worst pinch-hitting stats.”

    Then Floyd talks about what sets himself aside from most of his new teammates – experience. The man has been a major leaguer since 1993 – a career .279 hitter with 223 homers.

    “Professionals know and adapt to the roles they are asked to fill,” Floyd said yesterday. “When the Padres contacted me, they were upfront about my role.

    “I've never been used solely in the role as a pinch hitter before. Now that I have that role, I have to prepare differently. Just like last year, with Tampa Bay, which was my first as a designated hitter (.268, 11 homers and 39 RBI in 246 at-bats).”

    So, shortly after signing with the Padres, Floyd asked for insight from two of the game's top pinch hitters – Lenny Harris and former Padre John Vander Wal.

    “I've already learned a lot,” Floyd said. “Day-to-day, how am I going to approach this? It is going to be different. But that is how the game is played. You have to adjust to what you are asked to do.”

    “For Cliff, this will be a little different role than he is accustomed to,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “His at-bats will come down. But when (General Manager) Kevin Towers looked for a left-handed bat off the bench, Cliff stood out.”

    For the 36-year-old Floyd, pinch hitting might not be the biggest adjustment he'll be making this season.

    He is one of only five players in the major leagues who have reached the playoffs in each of the past three seasons. Now he's signed with a team that is clearly not among the favorites for a postseason berth.

    Since most players Floyd's age are looking to close their careers with a contender, what brought him to San Diego?

    “The way the economy went dictated what went on with me,” Floyd said. “For years now, the players have been in control. The economy now favors the owners. A lot of players weren't getting the offers they expected last winter.

    “I love the game. I let people know I'm available. And I've watched the National League West. Anything can happen, and has. Two over .500 has won. With the Padres, a lot of things looked great. It was a good fit for me and a good role.

    “I feel I can hit. And I wasn't ready to retire. I wanted to keep playing. And every once in awhile I get the urge to try a new challenge. Pinch hitting, coming off the bench, San Diego . . . I liked the challenge.”

    The Padres could have had an ulterior motive for signing Floyd as a free agent.

    Over the years, Floyd pummeled Padres pitching. He hit .324 against the Padres with 12 homers and 48 RBI – or an RBI every 5.3 at-bats.

    Clearly, the Padres wouldn't mind if Floyd filled another role. One of the more respected and liked individuals in the game, Floyd is seen by the Padres as being a positive influence on their younger players – again, just as Clark was last season.

    “I've never looked for that role,” Floyd said. “But I take it as a compliment that they think I can get through to younger guys.

    “One thing that I have is that I've been through a lot. I've experienced a lot and learned a lot. I've learned how the game is played. Young players are going to struggle. I did. All young players do. I'd like to think I can help.

    “You're not here to make the team. You have to help the team win, that's why you are here. The most important thing is that you need 25 guys on that same page.”

    “I like his leadership skills,” Black said. “The right things come out of his mouth. He does have the same type of presence that Tony (Clark) had last year. Cliff's a guy who could be an asset in a variety of ways.”

    Because of his leadership, many in the game believe Floyd would make a good manager or coach once his playing days end. He sees his future more as a commentator.

    “I don't know if I'm cut out for managing and coaching,” Floyd said. “I know myself.”

    So when Floyd says he can pinch hit, know that he has plotted a course for success.

    Bill Center: (619) 293-1851; bill.center@uniontrib.com
     
  18. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    PADRES BLOG

    Shawn Hill joins rotation battle

    By Bill Center

    March 23, 2009, 12:03 p.m.


    It's been a busy morning in the Padres camp.

    Shortly after the Padres optioned one No. 5 candidate (Josh Geer) to Triple-A Portland, the club signed right-hander Shawn Hill, who was released last week by Washington. The signing came shortly after the Padres acquired right-handed reliever Luke Gregerson from St. Louis to complete the Khalil Greene trade.

    Hill, 27, is expected to compete with Walter Silva and Cesar Ramos -- in addition to other pitchers who might be acquired later -- for a spot in the rotation.

    Hill was 1-5 with a 4.38 ERA in 12 starts with Washington last season. A sixth-round draft pick of Montreal in 2000, Hill has a career 7-15 record with a 4.29 ERA. His career has been interrupted by a series of arm problems.

    "Certainly, there's some risk," Padres General Manager Kevin Towers said. "But he's a non-roster addition. We're aware of what we're getting into. If he's healthy, we know he can pitch. And he says he feels good right now."

    If the Padres season opened tomorrow, Silva would likely be the No. 5 starter. Silva, 32, had never started a game north of the border until Saturday against the Giants in Tempe. In fact, the native of Mazatlan was making only his second appearance in a Padres uniform. However, by allowing one run on two hits over four innings, Silva jumped to the front of the pack in the race for the last spot in the rotation.

    Not only is the No. 5 slot open, Nos. 3 (Cha Seung Baek) and 4 (Kevin Correia) are also going into the final two weeks with inflated spring ERAs -- 7.53 and 6.52, respectively.

    Towers is still trolling the waiver wire. The Padres' actual No. 5 starter might be in the camp of Tampa Bay (Jeff Niemann) or Texas (Jason Jennings) today.
     
  19. BFISA

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    As Padres' latest fix at second base, Eckstein brings experience, energy

    By Bill Center

    Tuesday, March 24, 2009


    TEMPE, Ariz. – David Eckstein got a warm welcome Tuesday as he stepped into the batter's box at Diablo Stadium.

    Angels fans remember Eckstein as the shortstop on the 2002 team that won the World Series. But when it comes to remembering the Angels, Eckstein goes back to 2001.

    And he sees a parallel between those Angels of his rookie season and the present Padres.

    “I was on a club like this in Anaheim in 2001,” said Eckstein of the Padres. “We were young. And the next year we won the World Series.

    “It's not going to happen unless you make it happen. We've got a lot of young guys on offense. Who knows?”

    Of course, Eckstein is at the other end of the proposition these days. In 2001, he was part of the Angels' future. Eight seasons later, he has joined the Padres to help build a bridge to the future.

    And he plugs what has become a troublesome position for the Padres.

    Eckstein figures to be the club's fifth Opening Day second baseman in as many seasons – and the ninth over the past 11 seasons.

    Only Mark Loretta (2003-05) has been the starter for more than one season since Quilvio Veras' three-year run ended in 1999. Since then, second basemen such as D'Angelo Jimenez, Bret Boone, Damian Jackson, Marcus Giles, Josh Barfield, Tadahito Iguchi and Edgar Gonzalez have passed through.

    Eckstein gives the Padres something of a new look at second, a mix of experience and energy. When Jody Gerut made a diving catch on a short drive to center Tuesday, Eckstein leaped into the air to applaud the play.

    “It's how I play the game,” said Eckstein, who is the only shortstop to have played on World Series champions from both the American and National (St. Louis, 2006) leagues.

    When Eckstein signed a free agent contract with the Padres in January, both the needs of the club and the player were fulfilled.

    – With Matt Antonelli at least another year away, the Padres needed yet another stopgap at second, as well as a No. 2 hitter and a veteran presence.

    – As for Eckstein, the Padres made a commitment that he would play his natural position of second and not be switched to short.

    Plus, in Padres manager Bud Black, Eckstein knew he'd be playing for someone who understood him and the type of game he played.

    “One of the reasons why I am here is that the Padres know what kind of game I bring,” Eckstein said. “They understand my style and I know my style means something to Bud.”

    Eckstein's style is a mixture of high-energy and fundamentals. In a long-ball era, the 5-foot-7, 177-pound Eckstein is, pardon the pun, the consummate “small ball” player.

    “It's the small things about baseball that have always mattered most to me,” Eckstein said. “That is my game and the reason why I'm here.

    “Fundamentals. Did you see the Japanese and Korean teams in the World Baseball Classic? They know the game and the right way to do things. It might not show up in the box score. But it shows up where it counts.”

    It's always been that way with Eckstein. Fundamentals go all the way back to his formative years in Little League in Sanford, Fla., and a coach named Rod Ferguson.

    “He stressed the way we played as much as how we played,” Eckstein said. “Defense, running the bases, being in the right place, knowing the situation. There were days we didn't even take our bats to practice.

    “Fundamentals were pounded into our heads.”

    And Eckstein never got away from it, partially because Ferguson coached him all the way through high school – and a state championship.

    However, Eckstein's arrival paralleled the power-ball era of baseball.

    “The importance of fundamentals were lost a little bit,” Eckstein said. “But we're seeing a shift back toward fundamentals.”

    Among the staunchest disciples of “small ball” is Angels manager Mike Scioscia. And among Scioscia's former aides is Black.

    “From Day One this spring, we've been stressing fundamentals,” Eckstein said. “I think we're trying really hard to do it the right way.”
     
  20. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    Peavy's arrival quickly spurs more rumors of his potential departure

    By Bill Center

    Tuesday, March 24, 2009


    TEMPE, Ariz. – As soon as Jake Peavy arrived at the Padres' spring training camp Tuesday, the rumors started.

    The Milwaukee Brewers, who have plenty of offense and prospects but are short on pitching, are now said to be interested in Peavy.

    As usual, Peavy deferred the question to his agent, Barry Axelrod.

    “I haven't been asked about the Brewers, although we've heard there was some interest before that didn't come to fruition,” Axelrod said.

    And on it goes.

    Peavy, the 2007 Cy Young Award winner, had just returned from the World Baseball Classic and busied himself transferring equipment from his Team USA bag into his Padres locker in Peoria.

    “It's the coolest experience I've ever had in baseball,” said Peavy of the WBC. “I'd absolutely do it again.

    “When you put that 'United States' uniform on, to represent the country, it's a great feeling. And that game against Puerto Rico (when Team USA rallied to win to reach the championship round) was the best experience I've ever had.”

    Peavy believes the timing of the first two WBCs worked against the United States.

    “I wish it was played after the season,” Peavy said. “The American players were not up to speed. The Latin American players were coming out of winter ball. And Japan and Korea had been working out for awhile.

    “I'd like to play the WBC after the season. When we took our best players to Japan after the 2004 season, we beat them pretty handily. It'd be different if we played them in season form.”

    Peavy threw an extended bullpen session Tuesday and will pitch again Friday. Peavy last pitched March 14 in the first U.S. game of Round 2, throwing 52 pitches over two innings. He was scheduled to start Monday had the United States reached the WBC final.

    “The time off isn't going to hurt me,” Peavy said. “I threw about 80 pitches in my last bullpen.”

    Baek rocked

    A day after Padres manager Bud Black said Cha Seung Baek will be part of the Padres' rotation, the South Korean right-hander gave up nine runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Angels.

    Baek has allowed 15 earned runs over nine innings in his past two outings, pushing his spring ERA to 9.95.

    Baek looked sharp through two perfect innings, striking out three of the first four hitters he faced. But he gave up a three-run homer to Maicer Izturis in the third and was tagged for six runs in the fourth.

    “I know it's spring training, but there are certain things I'd like to see,” Black said of Baek's outing. “I'll address that with him in the morning. His first two innings were outstanding then he had some lapses.”

    The Angels' 10-5 win marked the sixth time in the past nine games – and the 10th time in 24 games overall – that the opposition has scored 10 or more runs against Padres pitchers. The Padres' ERA is 7.25 and their pitchers have given up 42 homers in 211 innings.

    Miscellany

    – Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff was given the day off due to what Black described as “a mild side issue.” Kouzmanoff felt a twinge in his side during his first at-bat Sunday, but continued to play. He had a scheduled day off Monday.

    – Closer Heath Bell will see his first post-WBC action today while recently acquired reliever Luke Gregerson (“We've seen guys jump from Double-A before; he's in the mix,” said Black) will make his Padres debut Thursday in a minor league game.
     
  21. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    PADRES BLOG

    Peavy returns to camp

    By Bill Center

    March 24, 2009, 9:01 a.m.


    Calling the World Baseball Classic the "best experience I've ever had," Jake Peavy was packing away his Team USA gear this morning after arriving at the Padres camp.

    "The two WBCs, wearing a uniform for the United States, it's the coolest thing I've ever done in baseball and I wasn't alone," Peavy said. "A lot of guys felt the same way. It was a blast. You really get into it.

    "I just wish it were played after the season, the same time as the Japan trip I made in 2004. When we took our best players to Japan, we beat them pretty handily. It'd be different if we played Japan with our players in season form.

    "American players were not up to speed. The Latin players were coming out of winter ball. Japan and Korean had been working out. It's a little different timing for American players. And I understand why some of them felt it was too early.

    "I just wish the American fans were into it more. The WBC is really a great thing. It's great for the game and for the players."

    Peavy will not pitch until Friday so that he will remain on schedule for Opening Day. He is scheduled to throw a long bullpen session this afternoon.

    "My last bullpen went about 80 pitches," Peavy said. "I'm on schedule. I'll be ready for Opening Day."
     
  22. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    :tup:I'm back! Thanks to Toby for keeping up with the Padres' news!!!:tup:
     
  23. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    I attended this game. When Chase hit that walk-off, the place exploded. I knew as soon as he hit it, it was gone...

    03/23/09 7:25 PM ET
    Padres win on Headley's walk-off shot

    Left fielder caps five-run rally against Royals with home run

    By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com


    PADRES 9, ROYALS 7
    at Peoria, Ariz.
    Monday, March 23


    Royals at the plate: Prospective second baseman Mark Teahen continued his offensive barrage with a double, two singles and three RBIs. That raised his spring batting average to .514 and gave him 11 RBIs in 11 games. Coco Crisp had two hits, raising his average to .400. Pitcher Kyle Davies, after fouling off a squeeze bunt, singled to center to score Mike Aviles. Willie Bloomquist belted a two-run double in the eighth to snap a 4-4 tie. Mitch Maier followed with a single for his 15th RBI.
    [​IMG]
    Padres at the plate: Emil Brown, an ex-Royal, got the first hit off Davies, a double in the fourth. David Eckstein also doubled, the only other hit off Davies. Kyle Blanks followed with an RBI double off the left-field fence, and Henry Blanco and Everth Cabrera had RBI singles.

    Down 7-4 entering the ninth inning, the Padres staged a five-run rally, capped by Chase Headley's three-run, walk-off homer.

    Royals on the mound: After Brown's one-out double, Davies issued two walks to load the bases but wiggled out of the jam. He worked 5 1/3 innings, charged with one run plus two hits and four walks. Lefty Heath Phillips relieved him and gave up four hits as the Padres scored four runs to tie. Closer Joakim Soria pitched two scoreless innings. Doug Waechter came in for the ninth and gave up three hits and a walk, recording just two outs. Joel Peralta came on and gave up Headley's decisive homer.

    Padres on the mound: Starter Chris Young went 4 1/3 innings, exiting after Davies' single. Young gave up three runs, five hits and a walk but struck out five. Cesar Ramos pitched three innings, surrendering three runs and eight hits and a walk.

    Cactus League records: Royals 13-9-3, Padres 5-15-3.

    Up next: The Padres travel to Tempe, Ariz., on Tuesday for a 1:05 p.m. PT game against the Los Angeles Angels. Cha Seung Baek will make his sixth start after going 1-3 with a 7.53 ERA in his first five games. Joe Saunders is scheduled to start for the Angels.
     
  24. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    My pleasure, Darlin!! :)
     
  25. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Hot links for Tuesday, March 24

    We've been light on the blog in recent days. Hate when that happens, but real life intrudes on his little baseball corner every now and then. Glad to be back at it. Here's what the world is writing about the Padres:

    RHP Heath Bell is back in camp, and Corey Brock is happy to have the quotes...
    (Holy crap, we couldnt believe when we saw Heath in camp, at practice, on Monday morning, the day after the USA loss. He was shagging balls in the OF. He went to the game, hung out in the dugout awhile, then the bullpen awhile, playing catch with the Hoffy kids.)

    RHP Jake Peavy reflects on his World Baseball Classic. ...

    RHP Mike Adams is making progress. ...:tup: (We talked to him awhile and he said he was shooting for late May, which I think is premature. He was hitting fungos, shagging balls and playing first. We never saw him throw, though.)

    LF Chase Headley had a big home run in the Padres' 9-7 spring training victory over the Royals on Monday. ...

    The Padres signed RHP Shawn Hill and got RHP Luke Gregerson as the player to be named in the trade that sent SS Khalil Green to St. Louis. ...

    RHP Josh Geer did not make the Opening Day roster. ...

    RHP Mark Worrell's season-ending injury preceded the moves. ...

    Padres executive Paul DePodesta weighs in on the transactions. ...

    USA Today previews the Padres. ...

    MLB.com puts the spotlight on the Padres farm system, including 10 prospects to watch. ...

    Padres vice president Dave Winfield did a live chat on ESPN.com today. ...

    Former Padres minor leaguer Matt Bush was charged with misdemeanor batter stemming from that incident in El Cajon. ...

    Former Padres RHP Matt Clement did not make the Blue Jays but has a minor league offer awaiting. ...

    The Red Sox sent down OF Paul McAnulty, a former Padre. ...

    The Pac-10 has hired a new commissioner, and it's not Sandy Alderson.

    Friar John

    • Posted on March 24, 2009 at 2:44 PM
     
  26. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Hot links for Wednesday, March 25

    2B David Eckstein has plenty of energy...(He certainly does. We can vouch for this. He got on-base alot and makes things happen.)

    1B Adrian Gonzalez homered Tuesday, but the Padres lost a spring training game 10-5 to the Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium. ...
    RHP Cha Seung Baek was hit hard. ...

    LF Chase Headley is working to cut down his strikeouts. ...

    RHP Chris Young talks with the Huffington Post. You know this isn't your run of the mill jock story. ...

    You know the best thing about the World Baseball Classic? Thanks to the tourney, we went more than three weeks without a Jake Peavy trade rumor. ... The Brewers quickly shot down the latest one. ...

    Missed this one last week while busy with other projects, but cbssportsline spun through Peoria to write up the Padres in its Camp Tour series. ...

    Yeah, it's spring and, yeah, it's Arizona, but the Padres staff ERA is cause for concern. ...:tdown:

    Corey Brock of mlb.com has today's lineup and other Padres tidbits on his blog. ...

    Scout.com has its Top 100 Prospects list. The highest Padres player is 1B Kyle Blanks at No. 39. ...

    The MILB.com business blog spotlights the Single-A Lake Elsinore Storm and its Fat Tuesday promotion. ...

    Triple-A Portland is holding an eBay auction of game-worn jerseys. ...

    Video link: Portland manager Randy Ready talks about his team. ...

    Former Padres OFs Dave Winfield and Fred Lynn helped promote Little League Opening Day. ...

    Former Padres C Bob Geren, a San Diego product, got a contract extension as Oakland's manager. ...

    LHP Jason Kershner, briefly a Padre, is plugging away in the independent leagues. ...

    Former Padres minor league C George Kottaras, dealt away to get LHP David Wells a couple years back, looks like he'll be the designate knuckleball catcher for the Red Sox. ...

    Keith Moreland, a reticent Padre in the 1980s, has been named to the College Baseball Hall of Fame. ...

    Yet another feature on San Diego State phenom Stephen Strasburg includes a scouting assessment from Padres general manager Kevin Towers.
    Friar John

    • Posted on March 25, 2009 at 10:00 AM
     
  27. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Hot links for Thursday, March 26

    Jeff Moorad will be introduced as Padres CEO this afternoon after he and his investment group completed an initial purchase of about one-third of the franchise. ... More coverage comes from the Associated Press, the Union-Tribune and the North County Times. ...

    Corey Brock of mlb.com blogs his thoughts on the transaction. ...

    The remaking of the pitching staff continues: The Padres acquired RHP Eulogio De La Cruz from the Marlins. He is out of minor league options.

    ... Another newcomer, RHP Shawn Hill, had offers from six clubs. ...

    RHP Cha Seung Baek has had a couple spotty starts. ...

    RHP Kevin Correia had a rough outing in the Padres' 8-4 spring training loss to the Indians at Peoria Stadium. ...

    More denials from the Brewers on the Jake Peavy trade rumor. ...

    Padres minor league INF Beamer Weems has advanced to the Sweet 16 of the annual best minor league names contest. Former Padres INF/OF Callix Crabbe remains alive. ...

    If you're going to be in the Northwest this spring or summer, why not check out the Triple-A Portland Beavers? Single-game tickets go on sale tomorrow. ...

    ESPN's Tim Kurkjian misses RHP Greg Maddux. ...

    Former Padres RHP Eric Rasmussen has taken over as Twins pitching coach.
    Friar John

    • Posted on March 26, 2009 at 11:10 AM
     
  28. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Hot links for Friday, March 27

    Jeff Moorad is the new Padres Vice Chairman/CEO. You may have heard about it. ... Additional coverage comes from the Union-Tribune, the Associated Press and the North County Times. ...

    The U-T also offers a personal profile of Moorad and a Q&A from beat writer Tom Krasovic. ...

    U-T columnist Tim Sullivan sees a long, slow transition. ... Another columnist sees mixed emotions from Padres Chairman John Moores. ...

    ESPN's Buster Olney also checks in. ...

    RHP Walter Silva threw in a minor league game Thursday because the Big Leaguers had an off day. ...

    RHP Jae Kuk Ryu was claimed on waivers by the Indians. ...

    The Sporting News visits with Padres manager Bud Black and previews the team. ...

    The Padres have a night game today, yet mlb.com beat writer Corey Brock already has a blog entry up. What dedication. ...

    The Swinging Friar helped open the Del Mar Little League season.

    Friar John

    • Posted on March 27, 2009 at 9:39 AM
     
  29. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    03/28/09 12:24 AM ET
    Peavy excellent; Hairston homers twice

    Padres ace remains unscored upon in Cactus League action, fans seven

    By Mychael Urban / MLB.com

    PADRES 5, A'S 2
    at Phoenix Municipal Stadium

    Friday, March 27


    Padres at the plate: Scott Hairston started at designated hitter and provided the big blow during San Diego's four-run fourth inning with a towering three-run homer to left-center field, his first round-tripper of the spring. Two innings later, Hairston went deep again -- very deep, this time to left field. Center fielder Jody Gerut also had two hits.
    [​IMG] A's at the plate: Despite fielding its projected Opening Night lineup for the first time this spring, Oakland managed all of two hits while falling into a 5-0 hole through seven innings and ended up with its ninth consecutive loss. Nomar Garciaparra broke up the shutout in the eighth with his first spring homer, and Jack Cust hit his third spring homer three pitches later.

    Padres on the mound: Right-hander Jake Peavy was dominant in his first start since returning from his stint with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, striking out five of the first nine batters he faced on the way to six shutout innings of two-hit work without a walk. Both of the baserunners allowed by Peavy were promptly erased by double-play grounders. Righty Shawn Hill cruised through his first inning of work but gave up the homers by Garciaparra and Cust in the eighth.

    A's on the mound: Righty Trevor Cahill, a top candidate to claim one of four openings in Oakland's starting rotation, started the game with three scoreless innings but gave up four runs in his fourth and final frame. Cahill, 21, allowed five hits and three walks with two strikeouts. Lefty reliever Jerry Blevins, who'd allowed at least one run in six of his nine appearances this spring, worked a perfect inning, and righty co-closer Joey Devine allowed a run on one hit -- Hairston's second homer -- in his first appearance since experiencing pain in his left elbow March 4.

    Cactus League records: Padres 6-17-3, A's 12-16-1.
    Up next: The Padres return to Peoria, Ariz., on Saturday for a 1:05 p.m. PT game against the Giants. Righty Chris Young, who will begin the season as the No. 2 pitcher in the starting rotation, gets the start and figures to throw upwards of 80 pitches in what figures to be his final Cactus League start before the team breaks camp and heads home on April 2.
     
  30. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    03/28/09 7:40 PM ET
    Headley helps Padres in comeback

    Young has rough outing; Brown, A. Gonzalez add homers

    By Corey Brock / MLB.com


    PADRES 11, GIANTS 10
    at Peoria, Ariz.
    Saturday, March 28


    Padres at the plate: Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Headley each hit solo home runs. Headley later added a double off the wall in center field and two singles, the last coming in the eighth inning, an RBI single to left field that tied the score.

    Outfielder Emil Brown drilled a towering two-run home run to left field in the fourth inning. Luis Rodriguez, who got off to a slow start this spring, had three hits to lift his average to .333. Edgar Gonzalez singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.

    [​IMG]

    Giants at the plate: The Giants scored six runs in the first inning, the big blow coming on a two-run home run to right field by Travis Ishikawa. Edgar Renteria had two hits and knocked in two runs as did -- oddly enough -- starting pitcher Kevin Pucetas. Pablo Sandoval, Fred Lewis and Randy Winn each added two hits.

    Padres on the mound: Starting pitcher Chris Young, the No. 2 starter in the rotation, allowed six runs on seven hits with a walk before leaving with two outs in the first inning, his shortest outing of the spring. He was hurt by defensive positioning at times and a sun fly ball. Cesar Ramos follwed by allowing three runs over 2 1/3 innings. Justin Hampson, who has struggled this spring, didn't allow a run over two innings. Newcomer Eulogio De La Cruz allowed one run in his only inning of work.

    Giants on the mound: Pucetas allowed five runs on eight hits over 2 1/3 innings. He did have two hits at the plate, though. Dan Otero followed by allowing two runs on four hits over 1 1/3 innings. Bob Howry allowed one run on two hits in his one inning of work.

    Cactus League records: Giants 17-15; Padres 7-17-3.
    Up next: The Padres make their first visit of the spring to Camelback Ranch-Glendale on Sunday to face the Dodgers at 1:05 p.m. PT. Cha Seung Baek, projected to be the No. 3 starter in the rotation, gets the start for the Padres. Baek has allowed 15 earned runs over his last nine innings, spanning two starts. The Padres want to see him avoid big innings and generally pitch better.
     

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